Barrow submarine crew meet their Artful primate at Dalton Zoo

ONE is longer than 10 London buses, housed in the 50-metre-high Barrow shipyard building, and will become home to a 100-strong crew.

The other is a tiny primate which brings smiles to faces of thousands of visitors at Dalton zoo.


They could not be any more different. But by tomorrow afternoon, the five-month-old ring-tailed lemur and Barrow shipyard’s third Astute class submarine will share the same name.


The lively lemur was christened Artful at its South Lakes Wild Animal Park home yesterday morning.


And BAE Systems’ third-in-class super sub will officially become Artful tomorrow during a naming ceremony in Devonshire Dock Hall.


The perky primate became the zoo’s first animal to be named through an external sponsorship – which was instigated by the submarine crew.


The money will help the zoo’s conservation projects, which include a scheme in the lemur’s native island of Madagascar.


Commander Scott Bower said: “Looking after animals and anything to do with conservation is always a good thing and we’re proud to play any little part we can in that.”


Lemur keeper Annie Tallentire, 22, originally of County Durham, now of Dalton, said Artful has been known as Little Iris – after her mum Iris – since she was born in April.


She added: “The ring-tails in general are quite mischievous and quite cheeky. This one is still quite young at the moment, so she is kind of the opposite.


“She’s not grown up yet, so she’s naive and child-like. She comes running up to you for food.”


Lieutenant Aaron Williams, Artful navigating officer, came up with the idea.


He said: “The request was for something quirky and, having a wildlife park so close by, we took the opportunity to apply the animal criteria.


“And we were quite fortunate in that some baby lemurs were born in April but weren’t named yet. They’re quite a friendly bunch, aren’t they?”


Karen Brewer, zoo marketing manager, said: “We’re really proud of the armed forces, so anything they do, we’re really happy to be involved with.”